Follow Your Passion

Successful people always tell me to follow my passion and it will lead me to happiness. I probably should’ve listened more closely. I gave up my growing photography business for a steady income and health insurance – back in 2011 we didn’t have Obamacare quite in place yet, although our state did offer excellent benefits. I regret putting down my camera, and yet enjoy the balance of my mundane life with my creative flare. Photography will always be my passion no matter where or what I’m doing. I still haven’t given up my dream of shooting for Nat Geo.
My creativity has changed over the years. I no longer am interested in wedding photography and engagement photos as the market is absolutely saturated. I have shifted my priorities to: children, family photos, landscape, travels, and nature.

With that said, I’m happy to announce that I’m ready to pick my camera up again and start making memories for everyone. And you should be too.  There are reasons why we don’t follow them, and I’m not the one to judge by any means.  Following your passion involves hard work, financial stability, and meeting your overhead expenses.  It’s not easy to just drop everything and start to sell your crafts, art, or other passions overnight.  It’s almost impossible to do while you’re working a full-time job.  The only way to really do it is to put 100% of your time and effort into what it is that you love.  I’m a creature of comfort and will often leave what I love behind just so that I get that steady income rolling in.  I don’t HATE my job, but I’m not passionate about it.  I’m lucky to have good coworkers, and a boss that supports me.  I’m “good” at my job, but I’m not great at it either.  I have dyslexia and dyscalculia (sorry for any spelling, or grammatical errors) so focusing actually makes me worse at my job as I’m bound to make more mistakes.  Because I’m a perfectionist, I get really down on myself for the simplest mistake which could mean forgetting a decimal point.  It does matter in my line of work since I work in finance, which btw…I have no idea how I have stayed in it for a total of 11 years.

Yesterday I drove around the island contemplating what I wanted for the rest of 2019.  Tomorrow is my birthday, and lately I’ve been asking myself if I’ve really been happy in my career and is it time to start something new.  It’s not an easy choice, and I haven’t made up my mind 100%.  To me, a feeler and not logical, it seems that I am losing a piece of myself the longer that I wait to tackle something more creative.

There are so many twists and turns in life.  I’m lucky to be married with no children, and we don’t plan on ever having kids.  That frees up so many options for me.  The only question is what’s holding me back, and how do I move forward.  Hopefully I can figure it out before my next birthday.

The Do I? Or Don’t I? Shot

Well, my dream of my blog post last night failed to go viral.  *le sigh*.  BTW, I complain a lot and I can be a taaaddd dramatic at times.  My husband is a trooper, and just sort of rolls his eyes, takes a deep breath and walks out of the room.  So you can imagine how silent its been around the house since I’ve been sick.  In fact, he went camping for the weekend I’m pretty sure to run-a-way from me.  I’m just kidding, I pushed him out of the house so he wouldn’t hear me cry and have a pity-party for myself about twice a day.  I’m not kidding.  I have been that sick that I’ve been acting out like a five year old.

With that said, I wanted to talk about photography again and take my mind off of the fact that I haven’t stopped coughing in over a week.  I told you.  Complainer.  Actually, I want to talk about a subject that I’m not sure how to feel about.  When is it appropriate to take a photo, and when is it not? 5922_302599319875881_1447661970_nWhen we visited Peru in 2013, we were strolling through the streets of Cuzco, when a funeral parade came by.  Instantly my photographer instincts kicked in and I took this photo of a mourning daughter who just lost her dad.   Oh, sorry for the graininess, this photo has been through a few transfers.  Anyway, as the photo was snapped, I started to wonder if that was the pono (right) thing to do.  An answer so many photojournalists have to ask themselves every time that they are out on assignment.  How involved and emotional do they get? If need to step in to help, would they do that, or do they get the shot instead? It’s something that I struggle with every time that I go out to shoot.  Especially while traveling.

So my questions are these:

  • Where do you draw the line between spectator and photographer
  • If there is an emergency situation, would you help or photograph the person(s) being helped.  I can’t help think about 9/11.  The photos that were taken were necessary to bring us the images that will haunt us forever.  But what did the photographer do to help? Did he/ she?
  • Is it disrespectful to take a photo of someone’s grief?

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.  Also, this is a little sneaky way to get more people to respond to my posts.  Vanity.  Yeah.  I’m a catch.

Quite Being Judgemental, Judgey

Is anyone still up with me? I’ve been sick all week, and still am having a hard time not feeling 100% yet.  That makes it very difficult for me to actually fall asleep.  Even after two Melatonin, I toss and turn trying not to cough up a lung.  So here I sit, on my website, for the millionth time trying to get it perfect.  The problem with “perfect” for an artist is that there is no perfect.  Only perfectionism that seems to take control of our lives in the most untimely moments.  I have been working on this site now for the past two weeks to get it looking “perfect”.  Yet, I just can’t seem to make all of the pieces fit together just the way I want them too.  But I am contemplating of letting the stress of perfectionist dictate to me how perfect I should be.  I know that we all do it.  We put unreasonable goals in front of us that just make us fret over why we didn’t accomplish them.

I have a friend of mine who I absolutely look up to.  You can check out here site at: here.  She’s smart, funny, extremely open, and writes like a comic champ.  She also is so successful on her blog that she gets companies to send her free things so that she can do a write up on their products.  Plus she has a million followers (well, that’s not true, but she has A LOT).  Honestly, I have a little bit of blog envy.  And that perfection starts to come out, and a little bit of my competitive nature.  I wonder to myself as I try to fall asleep at night, ‘I wonder how many hits I have now? Should I go check?’.  It’s all a little maniacal.  Just by looking at Katie below you get a pretty good idea who she is; fresh, inspiring, courageous and self-admittedly a little judgemental.  Which is what makes her real.  How often do you find a friend like that? So I guess I shouldn’t want her dead then.  That would be wrong just because I’m a selfish, envious and self-judging, and also very judgemental woman.  I will let her live along with her fantastic blog site.  I mean, it’s amazing and you need to check it out.  Then like my posts.  Then follow me too.

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Katie the cutie camera (R), Your truly camera (L)

Disclaimer: By the way, this blog from time to time is going to divert away from photography.  Especially, when I have insomnia.  It takes me forever to write it because of the Melatonin, and often I’ll sit in silence for a few minutes trying to remember what I was going to say.  You could say that I’m a bit of….there it goes again.  Off like a unicorn farting to the stars.

With all of that said, I’m going to bid you au revoir (that’s French you know) 😛 and try again to get some zzz’s.  Night to anyone who has taken the time to read this long piece.  I have no idea what it’s about myself.  Good on you for making the effort!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Recently, I broke down and finally bought a new camera.  I had been searching and thinking about it for over a year.  When I heard mirrorless cameras were the new “it” technology”, I figured I’d give it some time to see how it upholds on shoots and go from there.  One day I did a google search for the best travel cameras.  Upon our decision to go abroad again, I wanted to make sure that the camera I took with wasn’t a point-and-shoot with limited zoom range, or a big heavy professional camera that would give me a neck pain as well as a hunched back.  Then, as I was researching, a ghost of sorts came up from the mists and caught my eye.  The Fuji X T-10.  It took me by surprise because it was the exact one that I talk about in this blog about how I learned to shoot on my dad’s camera. I did research on the camera, and was impressed.  I even went down to Best Buy to take a look at it up close, and feel in love with it.  The features while impressive, was not the reason why I bought the camera, but to honor the legacy of my father.  I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am to own this camera.  Not out of vanity, or materialism, but because I feel that every time I go out on a shoot now, my dad is with me.  And that’s a pretty amazing feeling.

 

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My Dad’s 1980 Fujica camera right, and my Fujifilm X-T10 camera left.
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As you can see, Fujifilm revamped the retro style almost to a “T” minus the analog features.
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The back of the cameras side by side.
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I’m obsessed with this photo.  It’s the first one I took with my dad’s camera.  I know it’s a horrible photo.  But to me I think it’s the best one I’ve ever taken.

Welcome

I wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog today.  In fact, if I could give each of you a high-five, I would.  Consider this your virtual high-five.  I wanted to introduce myself and my work to you, in hopes that we can get to know each other better over the course of our time together.  I’m going to leave out the boring part of the introduction, because I wrote about it here.  If you’re so inclined you can check it out.

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Sunshine.  My first photograph taken with my dad’s Fuji 35mm

I have been photographing since I was ten years old.  As I started to get older, I got more involved in media production, with an emphasis on photography.  As a matter of fact, I took a photography class in high school and received a certificate.  Back then we only had 35mm camera’s to shoot with, and I learned how to work in a dark room.  Here are some never seen before photos of my photography class in high school.

 

I should have taken that certificate and pursued my dream of becoming a photographer for National Geographic.  Instead, I wound up working in the corporate world, and put my photography aside.  Shameful, I know.  Instead of blossoming into a world renowned photographer, I was pushing escrow papers across my desk for ten years, and other as equally boring office jobs since then.  One day, I decided it was time to get back into photography.  I started small with a Canon Elf that my husband bought me, and took photos of the flora and fauna here in Hawaii.  I’d pack up my car and drive down to the local art fair to sell my photos.  Remarkably, people bought them.  I started to become impassioned yet again with my first love.  Soon after that my husband bought me my first DSLR.  Now I started shooting weddings, engagements, and family photos of my close friends without charge.  But it wasn’t too long after that I realized I could make a living off of something that I love almost as much as my pioneer and our cat.

 

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My dad’s Fujica on the left, my new Fujifilm on the right.  Practically identical.

Most of my photography when I first started, wasn’t really that great.  Average at best.  Let me tell you one thing, it’s not the camera brand, size, or whether it’s a point and shoot, or a professional camera; if you develop an eye you can shoot anything beautifully.  My husband has a great eye and shoots on his iPhone.  His pictures are amazing.  If anyone ever criticizes you, remember it’s them not you.  If you’re really passionate about photography, or anything for that matter, you can develop your skills just by making the effort to learn and to practice.  In fact, I’m going to recommend some books that really helped me in the beginning.  I still reference them, especially since I haven’t been shooting for awhile now.

  • Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 1
  • Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 2
  • Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 3

Scott is point on breaking down and simplifying how to shoot like a pro, even if you’re not.  His chapters are also very funny and easy to read.  I learned a lot of his techniques and have taken them out in the field on several occasions.  If you are interested in learning more about photography, I highly recommend this book series to anyone, from beginner to pro.

Boy, I have a tenancy to talk a lot don’t I? Let me conclude that you can do anything with your life.  If working in an office is your passion than God bless you.  If you want to pursue something different, you have to find your passion and go with it.  Too many years have a struggled with this small fact.  My dad taught me a lot, but he was very practical.  I worked in an office because I wanted to make him proud of me, even after he died.  I realized though a week ago, that the only person I need to prove anything to is myself.  You only live once, so make it worth it.